Blog

  • A big honor for two young innovators

    Leah Eisenstadt, August 23rd, 2016

    Broad scientists Sonia Vallabh and Evan Macosko have been named two of MIT Technology Review’s 2016 Innovators Under 35. Each year since 1999, the magazine has selected exceptionally talented young innovators whose work they believe has the greatest potential to transform the world.

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  • “Molecular sleds” slide cargo along DNA

    Leah Eisenstadt, February 2nd, 2016

    Protein interactions via a new type of biochemistry- one-dimensional biochemistry

    Broad core institute member Paul Blainey recalls that toward the end of his graduate training in Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard nearly a decade ago, things became really interesting. He got a request for help from a scientist who studies viruses that would later lead to their discovery of a new vehicle for intracellular transport dubbed a “molecular sled” and help chart the path of Blainey’s own scientific career.

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  • Stem cells push back the frontiers of psychiatric research

    Leah Eisenstadt, January 6th, 2016

    The human brain is notoriously difficult to study. The organ is home to billions of cells that come in hundreds of flavors, woven into a network of trillions of dynamic cellular connections that make it one of the most complex structures in the body. It is the seat of decidedly human traits like language, creativity, and higher cognition that set us apart from other organisms, making animal models less than ideal for studying human illnesses like psychiatric disease.

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  • Development in reverse: A better model of human induced pluripotency

    Leah Eisenstadt, July 16th, 2015

    What: Studying the reprogramming process in human cells is now easier and more reliable, thanks to work by a team of scientists led by Broad Institute researcher Tarjei Mikkelsen. The team designed an improved method for generating human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells in the lab that reduces variability. The system enables a high-resolution look at the intermediate cellular and molecular changes taking place as somatic cells are reprogrammed to become iPS cells, something much more difficult to study before this new model.

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  • A cancer drug that wears many hats

    Leah Eisenstadt, July 1st, 2015

    Nearly a decade ago, the FDA approved the drug lenalidomide to treat patients with deletion-5q myelodysplastic syndrome (del(5q) MDS), a cancer of the myeloid cells in the bone marrow that form several types of blood cells. In this condition, some bone marrow cells are missing a portion of chromosome 5 – hence, the “del(5q)” – on one copy of their genome (the human genome has two copies of each chromosome, one from each parent), and this deletion causes malignant cells to grow unchecked.

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  • Wall of sticky notes fuels genomics at Broad

    Leah Eisenstadt, June 3rd, 2015

    The Broad Institute is designed for collaboration. Visitors will notice walls of glass that promote transparency, “living rooms” with casual seating for informal meetings, and writable, “whiteboard walls” stocked with dry erase markers for spontaneous brainstorming sessions. Some of these writable walls sport chemical formulas or structures and others detail new hypotheses.

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  • Broad In Focus: Tom Green, Software Engineering Manager

    Leah Eisenstadt, April 30th, 2015

    For the past seven years, software engineering manager Tom Green has guided the development and maintenance of software tools that support the Genetic Perturbation Platform at the Broad Institute, where he can be found working with a team of software engineers or consulting with scientists conducting experimental screens. Two decades ago, however, Green was living without electricity or running water in the jungles of Nicaragua, a houseguest of locals in the remote village of Karawala on the Caribbean coast, doing a very different kind of research.

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  • For drivers of Alzheimer’s disease, check the roadmap

    Leah Eisenstadt, March 13th, 2015

    Recently, the BroadMinded blog highlighted the exciting science emerging from the Roadmap Epigenomics program, resulting in the most comprehensive map of the human epigenome — the collection of chemical changes to DNA and its supporting proteins that help control how genes are turned on or off.

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  • Structural variation goes extreme

    Leah Eisenstadt, February 6th, 2015

    From person to person, the human genome varies in a number of important ways. Some of the variation is in the form of genetic misspellings – single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs. Other variation takes the form of so-called “structural variation:” as genetic rearrangements, or as missing or extra segments of DNA, known as copy number variation (CNV). Scientists at the Broad Institute and elsewhere are working to locate and characterize many different types of variation and look for connections between the variants and human traits and disease.

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  • Broad Institute, Ragon Institute aim to help “end HIV” by awarding new catalytic grants

    Leah Eisenstadt, September 25th, 2014

    Despite significant gains made by the scientific and medical communities to understand the HIV virus, an effective HIV/AIDS vaccine – the best hope for ending the epidemic – is still out of reach.

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